Thanjavur (also Tanjore) is the ancient capital of the Chola kings whose origins go back to the beginning of the Christian era. It rose to glory during the later Chola period and has been a treasure house of art for centuries. Thanjavur is well-known throughout the world for being the home of the Brahadeeswara temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the magnificent palace, Rajah Serfoji's Saraswati Mahal Library, the Art Gallery and also for its exquisite handicrafts like the Art Plate, pith work, bronze icons, Thanjavur paintings and classical South Indian musical instruments. Tiruchirapalli’s (also Trichy) history too goes back to before the Christian era and it was a citadel of the early Chola rulers. Trichy developed around the Rock Fort and besides which there are several churches, colleges and missions dating back to the 1760s
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